I know this recipe for Roasted Grapes with Pureed Grape Sauce Over Chicken is not new news. It’s from Rozanne Gold’s “Radically Simple”, and was posted in the NY Times in 2010, but it’s new to me and roasting grapes is totally new to me. Let me tell you, once you have roasted a grape you will wonder why you have never done it before.
Roasting grapes gives them a deep, rustic and lusciously rich flavor that is similar to what you get when you take a sip of a beautiful wine. You don’t even have to be a grape fan to love a roasted grape. Honestly. I am not one, and when I popped one fresh out of the oven and into my mouth, I am sure my eyes got wide as I was shocked by the fullness and complexity of its taste.
I beg of you not to scoff at the simplicity of this recipe. The only ingredients in the sauce are grapes and butter. I was wary of such simplicity and actually Googled so many other grape chicken recipes when I had the hankering that my eyes spun and I became dizzy.
But when I found Union Street Eats’ blog, which assured me that the Grape Chicken from NY Times was ALL THAT I was dreaming of, I stopped the silly search and just made it as-is…well with one exception. I sauteed my chicken in grape seed oil as opposed to butter. Who sautees chicken in butter any more—well besides Paula Deen? Seriously. If I was trying to layer on extra fat around my middle, I think would dive into some dark chocolate truffles rather than waste my time on slabs of butter.
I paired this chicken with a lovely and hearty cinnamon steeped Israeli couscous with toasted pistachios. It was quite simple as well and a nice side to eat with the chicken.
And I have one serious question that I can’t find the answer to anywhere on the internet. I KNOW grapes can be grilled in bunches, but that is a fast process and roasting grapes in the oven is a slow, one hour process and the slowness lends to the complexity of flavors.
I am wondering if we could mimic this slow process on the grill with a low heat, on a pan, close the grill —can this be done…would it work? Let’s make this an interactive post today, okey dokey? Anyone who has done this before or has great grilling knowledge, please chime in.
—Oh and one more thing since we are making this a please help Geni post, I have no idea how to get an accent on my “e” in the word “Sauteed”. Please advise. TY!
Sauteed Chicken with Roasted Grapes
Adapted from The New York Times which was taken from Radically Simple by Rozanne Gold
3/4 pound small black or red seedless grapes, stemmed
3/4 pound small (mine were large…it’s all good) seedless green grapes, stemmed
4 T. Grape seed oil or Olive Oil
2 T. tablespoons cold unsalted butter
4 to 6 large skinless boneless chicken breast halves
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/4 cup minced fresh chives.
To make the Grape Sauce: First wash and dry all of your grapes and take them off of their stems. Take half of the green and half of the red grapes and puree in a blender. Pour the puree through a sieve over a bowl and push through with a rubber spatula. Allow this to continue to drip into the bowl as you do the next steps.
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Please, I beg of you, LINE a cookie sheet with PARCHMENT PAPER! If you think I am shouting at you, you are correct. I am. Do not forget the parchment or you will be sorry and may decide to throw out the pan. The grapes ooze a sticky, dark juice that hardens and I can’t even imagine cleaning that up.
Place the other half of your grapes on the lined pan and roast for 60 minutes total. Half way through, at 30 minutes, flip them over gently using a spatula. Continue roasting.
Rinse and pat dry your chicken breasts and pound with a meat mallet to flatten out just a bit. This helps break down some of the toughness of the chicken and will allow more of the sauce to permeate it. Salt and pepper both sides of your chicken lightly.
Heat the grape seed oil in a heavy duty nonstick skillet or iron skillet on medium to medium high heat. Place your chicken pieces, thickest part down on the pan (meaty part of the breast). You should hear a sizzle. Take a lid from a slightly smaller pan, as heavy a lid as you have and press it down on the chicken and leave it there.
Cook for about 5 minutes per side. Add strained grape purée and simmer until chicken is cooked through and juice is syrupy, about 5-8 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chicken.
Take the chicken pieces out of the pan and let sit covered on a serving plate. At this point, you have probably taken your roasted grapes out of the oven. If there’s still a few minutes left of roasting, then you can take them out a little early. That’s fine. Dump the grapes into the sauce. Add your butter and reduce the sauce down by simmering another 2-5 minutes. Once it reduces down, spoon the sauce over the chicken and garnish with chopped chives (I skipped this part because my family doesn’t love chives).
Serve with Cinnamon Steeped Israeli Couscous:
My own recipe.
3 c. Chicken Broth or Vegetarian No Chicken Broth
2 c. Israeli couscous (uncooked)
2 cinnamon sticks
1/2 c. pistachios
salt and pepper
For the Couscous: Boil the chicken broth in a medium sized pot. Drop in the two cinnamon sticks. Pour in the uncooked couscous. Bring to a boil again, stirring and then turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Toss your pistachios in a small saute pan and stir over medium heat for just a couple of minutes. If they smell done or look darker, take them out! They burn quickly. Roughly, chop your pistachios (large pieces). Once your couscous is done cooking, stir in your pistachios.